First Baptist Church of Brandon

Live in:

    Training Ground Church, Missoula, Montana

    A snapshot of Missoula:

    • The SBC is reaching less than 1% of the population! (4 churches combined reaching around 800 people... out of 100,000!)
    • Evangelical churches are reaching less than 10% COMBINED!
    • Missoula is the 2nd largest city in Montana with about 100,000 people in the Missoula Valley.
    • Montana as a state is a MISSION FIELD in need of workers for the Gospel.
    • It is not uncommon to find Montanans who not only have NEVER attended a church service, but who have also NEVER heard about Jesus or anything about Him.
    • Suicide and alcohol dominate the culture. (One high school in town nicknamed “Suicide High” and Montana as a whole is labeled the 2nd drunkest state for people 14 years old and up)
    • Missoula is the home of the University of Montana: 15,000 students
    • Average age in Missoula: 31 years old (13 years younger than average for the state)
    • The population of Missoula grew by 17% in the past decade and is continuing to grow at a fast rate.
    • Even though the people in Missoula are very conscious of what’s going on around them in the world, they are spiritually empty and hopeless without Christ.

      Meet the Shawgo Family

      Greg was born in Illinois and grew up being a sports enthusiast. Although he grew up in the church, it wasn’t until God rescued him from a lifestyle of alcohol and partying that he decided to give his life fully to Christ at the age of 24. Quickly after, Greg felt the call to go into full-time ministry and enrolled at Union University in Jackson, TN. Here he would survive a tornado that destroyed the campus, graduate with a BA degree in Youth Ministry, and meet the love of his life, Victoria.

      Victoria was born in Georgia and spent her life growing up in Georgia and Florida. Victoria made a decision to follow Christ at a young age and pursued God throughout her life. After graduating high school, Victoria enrolled at Union to study voice and music education. While at Union, Victoria also survived the tornado, graduated with a BM degree in Music Education, and also was highly involved with the residence life team as a residence assistant.

      We met our senior year at Union, dated happily for 3 months before getting engaged, and married upon Victoria’s graduation in December of 2009. Two weeks after getting married, we picked up our belongings and moved to Montana to fulfill our call to ministry here.

      Since that time, much has happened. We’ve ministered to middle and high school students, led college ministries, served in a church planting residency, served as chaplains, and most importantly, welcomed a new member to our family. One year after moving to Montana, Noah was born and is now already approaching two years old. While he loves his toys and the family dog, Daisy, it is most exciting to see Noah praying at the dinner table and constantly wanting to read stories about Jesus. It is our prayer that God would touch Noah’s life and he would grow up to do great things for Him!

      For more information on the Shawgo's click here.

      the vision

      The Shawgo family is answering God’s call on their lives by planting Training Ground Church in Missoula, Montana.
      • Back in 2009, God gave us a specific call to come out and minister in Montana.Through our experiences since moving here, it has become more and more clear that what Missoula needs and what God is specifically calling us to do, is to plant a new life giving church built upon God’s Word.
      • In 2010, we clearly heard God’s call to start a new church. Through trials and testing, we’ve been equipped and refined for the task as we follow God’s lead to reach Missoula, Montana.
      • We believe that God has uniquely gifted and positioned us to launch a church that gets back to New Testament roots and focuses solely on Jesus and the Gospel. This type of community would show genuine compassion to each other and those around the city while believing God can and will do amazing things in our midst.
      • We are ready to give everything we have to see people hear and learn about God and come into the joy of having a personal relationship with Him.

      God has already started working among us and the time to plant is now. What God called us to in 2010, is now becoming a reality. We are preparing to launch a church that teaches Christians how to be disciples of Christ, going out and multiplying themselves, while also serving and loving the city.

      Presently, there are 2 families who have moved and 1 other family already in Missoula, MT, who have committed to be a part of the core group of Training Ground Church. There are a couple other families who are also considering being a part of the launch team in addition to these three. These families are committed to the vision and values of the new church in Missoula.

      This core group will start coming together in February of this year (2013) to begin engaging in the vision, values, prayer, strategy, and the community of Missoula. These families will be responsible to cultivate intentional relationships in their communities and places of influence. Each family will start a small group in their home and use their influence to develop the Training Ground Launch Team.

      This team will consist of at least 50 people who are committed to the vision and values of Training Ground Church. The launch team, under the direction of the staff, will assume the responsibility of assuring that at least 150 people attend the initial public launch service on Easter of 2014. These numbers represent goals and the vision will move forward no matter the numbers!

      We believe Training Ground will do this like no other church has done before in Missoula.

      Prayer Needs

      We are looking for at least 200 people who would covenant to pray with us and for us as we move forward with Training Ground Church. This isn't a commitment to be taken lightly as we ask you first pray about being a part of this team before making this commitment. For more information click here.

      Opportunities for FBC Brandon members

      There are abundance of things we need done, but simply can't with our current size. If you are a mission team or local church that wants to help out as we get started, we'd be thrilled to have you! We do ask that you work around specific dates and events happening in Missoula that would be beneficial to what we are trying to accomplish. For more information click here.

      For more information visit the Training Ground Church website at